WASHINGTON (AP) — It was in the Rose Garden in late May when President Barack Obama outlined a timetable for the gradual withdrawal of the last U.S. troops from Afghanistan.
His words — "This is how wars end in the 21st century."
Yet not even three weeks later, there's great uncertainty about how Obama has moved to end wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that he inherited.
In Iraq, an Islamic insurgency is pressing toward Baghdad. That's raising the possibility of fresh American military action more than two years after the last U.S. troops withdrew.
The chaos in Iraq also raises questions about whether Obama's plans to keep a small military presence in Afghanistan until the end of 2016 can prevent a similar backslide or whether extremists are simply lying in wait.